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Be a DIVA!

This program profiles ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power), the effective and inventive national AIDS activist organization. In 1989, ACT UP, a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct

action to end the AIDS crisis, spawned DIVA-TV (Damned Interfering Video Activists) to organize independent video makers involved in AIDS activism. Working collectively to produce images of ACT UP's often massive, always colorful, protests, DIVA-TV is a prime example of how to use television as a tool for empowerment and organizing with an activist organization. BE A DIVA! is a compilation of works documenting the dynamic political activities of ACT UP.

Produced by ACT-UP and DIVA TV (NY,NY)

Run time 28:00
Audio/Visual sound, color


Reviewer: porchgatherings - - November 9, 2012
Subject: Informative, humanizing documentation of AIDS activism
This is an intimate documentary and a call to video activism, which paints an honest, intimate, and charming portrait of members of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). It's produced by DIVA-TV (Damned Interfering Video Activists), an affinity group within ACT UP New York. Jocelyn Taylor, a video activist and artist in her own right, introduces the video and the DIVA project: "Being a DIVA is as easy as grabbing a video camera ... and recording the activism in your neighborhood".

The rest of the video explores the five goals of DIVA's activism: empowerment, counter-surveillance, history, education, and propaganda. In the course of these, the video provides background on the AIDS crisis and the crucial actions of resistance that forced government and corporations to change their ways. It includes footage of trainings, direct actions, and protest marches, including extended footage of a parade up 5th Avenue on the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (with protestors carrying a rainbow balloon bridge and a sign calling for revolution) and of members of an affinity group preparing and committing to blockading traffic and getting arrested to call attention to AIDS.

NOTE: it seems like this is only the first half of the program. Deep Dish TV, if you're reading this, can you find and upload the other half?
on 2/6/2006